Monday, February 08, 2010

Manhood for Amateurs

I completed the first book of my "50 in 2010" on New Years Day-Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Fathr, Husband, and Son by Michael Chabon. I actually started it a while ago, getting about 1/3 of the way in, but it was a library book and was recalled before I had a chance to finish it. I checked it back out a couple weeks ago, and decided to kick off the new year by finishing it. I've read some of Chabon's work before-a few short stories, a couple essays, and his fantastic tribute to the pulp adventure stories of Fritz Leiber and Robert E. Howard, Gentlemen of the Road.  

Manhood for Amateurs is a collection of essays about being male, and the roles in life that men play-son, husband, father, brother, son-in-law, and so on. Chabon is definitely a geek-comics, sword & sorcery, science fiction, to name a few typically geeky things that had (and continue to have) a major impact on his life. Between the writings about being male and those about interests that I share with him, I found myself relating to almost all the essays one way or another.

Reading these essays made me think a lot about who I was growing up, where I came from, who the male figures were that influenced my life, and where my life is now. As I read about his life as a father, especially the birth of his first child, I was thinking to the future. Who will my child be? What will they be like, and what will their influences be? I am looking forward to sharing the things I liked as a kid-Lego bricks, Star Wars, comics, playing in the woods, and so on. Will my son enjoy the same things I did? Or will we be strangers to each other, not able to comprehend what/why we are different?

So, as not to stray too far from the original point of this post, I highly recommend Manhood for Amateurs. Knowing a number of people who read my blog, I have a feeling they will relate to, and enjoy, Chabon's essays in many of the same ways I did.

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